Underwater internet surfaces at NEVA 2017

September 20, 2017

A glimpse was given of a technology that could 'disrupt' part of the maritime industry from within during the opening MariNet session at NEVA 2017 here in St Petersburg, Wednesday September 20.

MariNet is Russia’s National Technology Initiative business focus encouraging the development of the distributed systems that will enable unmanned maritime transport, working through public and private funding initiatives.

With many in shipping highlighting the disrupting effects of the Internet of Things, Underwater Communications & Navigation Laboratory General Director Arthur Abelentsev envisaged a homegrown 'Internet of Underwater Things' building on the organisation's RedNODE receivers.

Introducing one of the 20 projects being overseen by NTI within MariNet, the General Director said internet connectivity for underwater objects would have major consequences for aquaculture, seismology, pollution control and perimeter protection.

The RedNODE solution was the only technology available that simultaneously made performance and economic sense as an underwater GPS, he said, in an environment where radio waves do not spread effectively. The claim was based on the receiver's ability to perform at a range of up to 8km in water depths of up to 300m, while weighing in at just 300g. Performance from a typical overseas competitor whose receivers weighed four times as much was significantly lower, he said.

"We are very frank about our performance figures," said Mr Abelentsev. "We can achieve speeds of 1200 bytes/sec at a range of 2.5km and 88 bytes/sec at a range of 8km."

Latest tests on a new type of underwater navigation equipment in cooperation with a commercial partner indicated a new protocol would need to be developed, he added, “which we will do”.

The NEVA 2017 conference programme can be seen here.